January 8

What an interesting/exciting couple of weeks it has been since the last instalment in www.jewelleryartbyhardwick.com/blog.

 

Apologies for the random nature of the images.

 

The tools arrived from Cape Town, the studio is still not set up properly to store them, I have learned what is called African time, ‘when will it be completed, Friday’, Friday may be any time between now and the end of March and if that’s a Friday, try June. All of this is done with such laughter and bon homie, you end up going, sawa, sawa, (okay, okay). The lack of rain has created a huge dust problem; fine talcum powder like dust gets into everything and causes some real problems in the studio. A real bonus over the holiday period though, has been electricity all day ever day so the flexi drive is getting a good work out.

 

Having the studio has been a great blessing, somewhere to go and make art, where street kids just pop in and folk generally wander in and out. The studio has generated huge interest and excitement in the local community and sales and commissions are slowly increasing. Hopefully soon I will be able to get hold of some rectangular silver wire and the wedding and engagement ring production may begin. Saw piercing skills are developing and some lovely work is being done. Forgot to mention that after 3 weeks when we were making cuffs, the students were sawing backwards like professionals.

 

I have befriended a young chap Kaima (little Emmanuel) and we get to some market or into Arusha every or other weekend, he is great company support and I feel a bit like Robyn Williams in ‘Dead Poets Society’. It took me a while to comprehend, but a lot of young people here enjoy/appreciate spending a lot of time with more mature people, they turn you into a mentor/teacher very quickly and care for you at all times, a bit nice it is.

 

A big delight was reconnecting via social media with an old school mate who I had not seen or heard from since 1965, technology continues to blow me away. It was terrific to see Lesley is heavily involved in resettling Sudanese refugee women and their children on the outskirts of Melbourne. Deniliquin has punched above it’s weight in providing a sizeable number of exceptional folk who have/are contributing to social and cultural change in Australia and throughout the world.

 

Some of the following has been on Facebook, apologies for those folk who have already seen it.

 

“Feeling a bit lost and isolated at the moment, post in the comments or private message me, and tell me something you and I have done together that was meaningful to you and helped make you think more of how fabulous you are”.

To those who responded so generously with your comments, so far it is working, a huge thank you to all.

What has transpired is a greater understanding of the impact of complex early childhood trauma. Trauma and the withholding of nurture causes a massive fight, flight, freeze, defend brain pattern to develop with body, emotional and mental dissociation. The results in a person’s life are like wandering in a desert with no oases where happy hormones abide in the memories of bonding and attachment. Many decades passed of trying to emulate the effects of these calming, loving little hormones through multiple addictions, compulsions, trying so hard to be and failing or buying a day or so, I stopped because I ran out of puff.. Every now and then, and this last week is a case in point, a simple little comment triggered a massive sandstorm in the desert with no oasis to shelter in, no happy hormones. 
So, the request for your comments identifying your fabulousness, created a nurturing shelter that I could bunker down in until the storm passed. 
The affection, intimacy and being identified as 'real' by these amazing people in Tanzania who I get to spend each day with, are doing there job in my ongoing adventure to wholeness. Again, thank you for your love and friendship; I am the most privileged human ever given breath. Asante Sana, Sana, Sana.

 

Well folks, this is what appeared to have triggered over the last 48 hours: When overwhelming stressors occur acutely or chronically, the natural biphasic response, both psychologically and physiologically, is numbing, avoidance, amnesia and adhedonia that cycle intermittently with intrusions of affect and memory, hyperreactivity to stimuli and traumatic re-experiencing (Horowitz, 1986). During the numbing phase there will be avoidance, detachment, emotional constriction and depression. Because of the high level of fear and avoidance, there is time-limited gradual revisiting of the event, directly or indirectly, until it is mastered or completed.

!!!!!! Inability to work through the overwhelming experience successfully (as might occur in the case of traumatized young children without supportive nurturing parents) may result in intrusions. These intrusions may take such forms as visualizations of the event, a "bleeding through” of intense affect such as sadness or fear on a chronic basis and/or a tendency to recapitulate aspects of the trauma developmentally - "dedicating" one's life to reliving the event in disguised forms!!!!!! .

Physiologically, the system will cycle with hyperarousal states, which the individual may experience as terrifying or exciting, as well as providing a relief from the depressed, numbing, constricted states.

Further reading may be found at:

 

 

Things are a little different now the tools have arrived and today I was able to acquire a blowtorch. We a building a beaut network meeting other small silversmiths and they are excited about what we are doing with the school at The SmallThings Nkoaranga.

 

We are celebrating the arrival of our new jewellers bench and it is rather fabulous and we now have a rather large blowtorch and gas.

Included are some images of our new work as we explore translation Tanzanian cultural motifs into production pieces. What is exciting is the development of a range of 'metal Kitenge' earrings and pendants. Each student is designing his or her own motifs, which will be replicated in jewellery. They will be either flat or folded, folded is to show the 'wrapping' of the fabric around the body.


The working name for the studio is "Speak to us of Love" traditional and contemporary jewellery making and teaching, is taken from The Prophet, Khalil Gibran. And will be expressed in Kiswahili:

 

‘"Kuzungumza na sisi upendo", Jadi Na kisasa vito maamuzi Na mafundisho’.

 

 

754. From the Hymn of Empedocles

 

      Is it so small a thing       

      To have enjoy'd the sun,

      To have lived light in the spring,       

      To have loved, to have thought, to have done;  

    To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes;

 

Will close on one of my favourite anthems/ prose.

 

Heri ya Mwaka Mpya kwa 2017   

 

Babu Chris  

 

 

Write a comment

Comments: 5
  • #1

    Tom (Sunday, 08 January 2017 19:16)

    Hi Chris, you have some beautiful pieces there. I particularly like the leaves and the butterfly wing. Very intricate! I have to say I'm a bit confuzzled by your musings (sounds like being stuck in a giant mental maze like puzzle where you start in the middle and have to find your way out) but I wish you the best in your physical and emotional 'journey' and know that you are loved by your extended tribe back in Oz.

  • #2

    Lindi (Monday, 09 January 2017 00:15)

    hiya Buba Chris,
    great to hear you are still hanging in there over yonder. Keep plogging away at your demons, you will beat them:) If you need some chuckles, just remember our classes at Wondai where we caused you so much grief at times when we loved to throw curve balls at you in some way. I get a chuckle out of it all every now and then myself. Love your workbench, but a bit jealous as I am still trying to get one together. Keep having fun, & take care. Love from OZ

  • #3

    Valerian (Monday, 09 January 2017 00:32)

    Hongera sana Babu Chris, kazi nzuri tunaipenda wote

  • #4

    Chris (Monday, 09 January 2017 04:18)

    The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas, no child escapes unscathed from parental neglect but change is the essence of life. The past belongs in the past, not in Tanzania where you are learning, teaching and experiencing new things. That said, 'African Time' sounds perfect, I bet high blood pressure isn't a problem over there. Glad you've found yourself in touch with an old friend who appears to share your passion for cultural change and education, glad your tools are there and glad you're making headway with the jewellery. See? It's not all bad after all, you're making a difference.

  • #5

    Blair Akilimali (Monday, 09 January 2017 06:00)

    Bravo man! nice work keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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